Obama won't pardon Snowden, despite petition

The NSA leaker should return to the US and face charges, an Obama advisor says

Edward Snowden appeared at South By Southwest Monday via Google Hangouts—and seven proxies—to encourage the people who create devices and software to make user security a priority.

Edward Snowden appeared at South By Southwest Monday via Google Hangouts—and seven proxies—to encourage the people who create devices and software to make user security a priority.

U.S. President Barack Obama won't pardon National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, despite strong public support for it, the White House said Tuesday.

A petition on WhiteHouse.gov calling for Obama to pardon Snowden has nearly 168,000 signatures, but that's not enough to sway the president, said Lisa Monaco, Obama's advisor on homeland security and counterterrorism.

Obama has pushed for surveillance reforms "since taking office," Monaco wrote on the WhiteHouse.gov petition site. "Instead of constructively addressing these issues, Mr. Snowden's dangerous decision to steal and disclose classified information had severe consequences for the security of our country and the people who work day in and day out to protect it," she added.

Monaco's response to the petition doesn't mention that nearly all of the surveillance reforms endorsed by the Obama administration were proposed after Snowden began leaking information about NSA surveillance programs in mid-2013.

If Snowden believed he was engaged in civil disobedience, he should have spoken out, engaged "in a constructive act of protest," and faced the consequences, Monaco wrote. "He should come home to the United States, and be judged by a jury of his peers -- not hide behind the cover of an authoritarian regime," she said. "Right now, he's running away from the consequences of his actions."

Snowden faces espionage charges in the U.S. He was stranded in Russia while en route to Ecuador, where he was promised political asylum, after the U.S. pressured Ecuador to rescind the offer. Snowden remained in Russia after its government offered him temporary asylum.

The White House response to the petition comes after former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said earlier this month that the "possibility exists" that Department of Justice could cut a deal to allow Snowden to return to the U.S.

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's email address is grant_gross@idg.com.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags governmentsecurityprivacyNational Security Agency

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Grant Gross

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?